LEDs Advice for the 159 - Alfa Romeo Forum
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Wave LEDs & lighting advice for the 159/Brera

This is the set of questions that started this thread, but as a result of it, we have collected a lot of interesting and useful information on the LEDs available for the 159/Brera and as such, I have edited the original post to capture it for anyone who is interested to save them having to wade through the entire post!

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
I am going to split this into 3 parts

Part 1:
I Have installed the 8 SMD LED can-bus w5w's off eBay in the side lights on my 159 and 4 SMD LED can-bus one's in the number plate light. They look great and match the HIDS's I run perfectly. I am, however, interested if anyone has any suggestions for the H7 main beams to match? I have seen some 128 SMD LED can-bus ones on eBay but not sure if they are going to put out enough light. It's the 2.4 diesel so there is not much room behind the headlights to make the change, so want to be 100% sure before I even attempt the job as doing it twice will not be fun!!!!

Part 2:
I would also like to upgrade the indicator, and rear driving & brake lights to LEDs. Has anyone tried this, if so, what did you use and what was your experience? I have read differing views on this, so open to suggestions that are of course "constructive"!

Part 3:
I am also very keen to change all the interior and puddle lights to LED. The question is, how do you get into the units on the roof?? I have had a look and cant for the life of me figure out how to open them to get to the bulbs!! Puddle are easy, w5w's accessed with a screwdriver for leverage, but before i tear a hole in my roof lining I would appreciate some advice from someone who actually knows how to open the units (front and rear pods).

Clearly, you can see I am obsessed with LEDs. I know, its strange, but I think they look good for two reasons, 1) the illuminate instantly, without the milliseconds of delay a filament has and 2) they have a much richer/deeper colour, both of which points make them an attractive, and potentially easy upgrade for my car. - I would therefore rather not turn this into a debate on taste and rather refer to prior experience or advice on any of the 3 points above

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

So here is what we have established:

-----=====-----

Lighting Guide:

Autobulbs Direct have a great lighting guide that lets you select the exact model variant of your car and see what the bulbs are for each area here so always check before you buy, but as a rough guide:

The 159 is typically:

Dipped Beam H7
Main Beam H7 (Not H1 as listed)
Front Fog H1
Sidelight 501
Front Indicator 581
Rear Indicator 581
Stop/Tail 380
Tail 380
Number Plate 501
Rear Fog 382
Reversing 382
Interior Maps 501
Interior Mains 43mm Festoon
Boot 43mm Festoon
Puddles 501

-----=====-----

General Advice:

The LEDS should always be CANBUS type LEDs or the car will get upset and either constantly show you annoying bulb blown errors or do stranger things like never actually switch off the light!

LED's are very cheap, which is reflected in their manufacturing, so always buy a spare set as they may turn up faulty (examples include some of the LED's on the bulb not lighting up or CANBUS errors)

If your going to have a go at the interior lights, fog lights or any light unit that requires you to pry some trim away from the car, you would be wise to invest in a set of Bojo bars! They are essentially plastic/nylon crowbars designed to remove trim without breaking it. You can pick up a full set on ebay for around 25 and they are a sound investment.

If your going to replace any of the bulbs in the headlights, your going to draw blood and/or loose skin off your hands unless you invest in a pair of workout / training / weight lifting gloves to protect the fleshy bits while leaving your fingers free to do the fiddly bit! I swear by these from Golds Gym!

-----=====-----

Common Front Sidelight replacement options:

2014/2015 Update
Option 1 Lights

A new LED option for sidelights has become available as discovered by AndyB2801:

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/3012555314...d=750031242604

These units give a clear bright white light that is ideal to match the HID's. Pictures can be found in Post 692 & 695

Option 2 Lights 8LED
8 LED CANBUS w5w (501) type bulbs

These offer a good balance of light into the reflector housing and light thrown forward, and are the whitest we have found at about 4000K to 5000K.


Option 3(new as of 15/11/2011)
2 CANBUS LED BULB xenon white SIDELIGHT 501 W5W T10 SMD -
These new options are a 24 LED set-up which offer a great mix of light thrown both forward and into the reflector. They are about 6000K in colour so match HID's well. The caveat here is that the round bit that holds the LEDs at the front is factionally to wide to go in the light so you need to use a fine sand paper, wetNdry paper or knife sharpening block to take about 0.1/0.2mm off the diameter before they will fit. Only takes a couple of minutes, honest!

WARNING: some of the people who have tried these have experienced canbus issues (myself included). To solve these issues you need to make a small modification to the bulb units in order to fix them. Credit to AwB for this fix:

1) Purchase 2 x 330 ohm resistors from somewhere like Maplin's, for around 24p each.
2) Solder the resistor across the terminals. NB, you can just poke the ends through the holes and rely on the compression it will then get once inserted into the bulb holder if your not proficient with a soldering iron!!
3) Insert bulbs back into the car - Can Bus erros sorted!

NB: for sidelights you want to put as much light into the reflector housing as possible or you defeat the object of being seen rather than lighting the way ahead.

-----=====-----

Numberplate light replacement:

4 LED CANBUS w5w (501) type bulbs


NB: The number plate light housing does not have a reflector in it so using a LED type that has bulbs pointing the way you want the light to go is important. Also, you dot want these to be so bright they dazzle the cars behind you, hence the 4 LED options.


-----=====-----

Interior Light LED Conversion

I have provided a detailed write-up on how to do the interior conversion with relevant installation guides taken from eLearn on my blog, which you can get to by clicking here

-----=====-----

Full Exterior LED conversion

I have provided a detailed write-up on how to do a full exterior LED conversion with relevant installation guides taken from eLearn on my blog, which you can get to by clicking here.

The finished product looks like this: http://youtu.be/rutNiAO4ww4
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Last edited by JabawokJayUK; 22-02-15 at 15:12. Reason: Collating the useful stuff from the thread into one place
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RE: Pt 3

I replaced my roof lights last weekend! They are both secured into place by spring clips and are really tight when attempting to get them out! Finger prize(ing) worked best on left hand side of both roof units once a little clearence was gained by screwdriver leverage, take your time though!

You will need canbus bulbs in the 4 spots (2 front & 2 rear) as there seems to be a small voltage present even when off. I assume the resistors in the canbus jobbies will prevent this happening. I will replace those (simple) led bulbs fitted once my new canbus jobbies turn up. FYI I used a large "flat" 16 SMD job in the front centre roof light, well recommended!
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i'm interested in replacing the sidelights and main beam with LED. I typically drive with sidelights on all the time anyway, and the standard headlights are pretty average.

If anyone has any suggestions on particular products, I'd love to hear it!

Cheers.
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Originally Posted by Maximus84 View Post
i'm interested in replacing the sidelights and main beam with LED. I typically drive with sidelights on all the time anyway, and the standard headlights are pretty average.

If anyone has any suggestions on particular products, I'd love to hear it!

Cheers.
In terms of the sides, I just installed these off ebay and they work perfectly:

http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/ws/eBayISAPI.d...=STRK:MEWNX:IT

No error messages and the split of forward facing and side facing SMD's ensures that you get a good distribution of light around the reflectors (given LED's are directional in nature this is a significant consideration)

For the numberplate lights I went for these, as A) I didn't want to blind people following me, and B) there are no reflectors in the holder so you need the LED's to physically point the right way, which 2 do in this configuration!

http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/ws/eBayISAPI.d...=STRK:MEWNX:IT

I am still looking for an answer to the h7 main beams, so watch this thread and hopefully someone will point us both in the right direction!!
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Originally Posted by Mark_S View Post
RE: Pt 3

I replaced my roof lights last weekend! They are both secured into place by spring clips and are really tight when attempting to get them out! Finger prize(ing) worked best on left hand side of both roof units once a little clearence was gained by screwdriver leverage, take your time though!

You will need canbus bulbs in the 4 spots (2 front & 2 rear) as there seems to be a small voltage present even when off. I assume the resistors in the canbus jobbies will prevent this happening. I will replace those (simple) led bulbs fitted once my new canbus jobbies turn up. FYI I used a large "flat" 16 SMD job in the front centre roof light, well recommended!
That's excellent Mark, just what I was looking for!! Which LED configuration have you gone with for the 4 w5w's internally & the Puddles? are there good reflector housings on the internal lights or is it just a plastic holder like the puddle lights? I am keen to know what the best SMD configuration is going to be before I head back to ebay to pick a load up!
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JabawokJayUK View Post
That's excellent Mark, just what I was looking for!! Which LED configuration have you gone with for the 4 w5w's internally & the Puddles? are there good reflector housings on the internal lights or is it just a plastic holder like the puddle lights? I am keen to know what the best SMD configuration is going to be before I head back to ebay to pick a load up!
I used the same canbus (flat 8x Smd) jobs in the in the puddle lights. The rest Ive used ultra cheap non canbus single led (with built in refraction lens), not suitable for those 4 downlighters imo. I have ordered more canbus 8x smds to replace them as stated in previous post and they do have reflectors built in from what I remember! The main front centre downlight in a capsule type bulb which I have replaced with a flat 16 smd job (not canbus)

Of note is the rear light on my Sportwagon boot has a light built in to it, this needs to be a canbus capsule as it sends the rear boot lights into a tizzy fit otherwise!
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JabawokJayUK View Post
In terms of the sides, I just installed these off ebay and they work perfectly:

http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/ws/eBayISAPI.d...=STRK:MEWNX:IT

No error messages and the split of forward facing and side facing SMD's ensures that you get a good distribution of light around the reflectors (given LED's are directional in nature this is a significant consideration)
+1 for these side LEDs. Been running these for 15000 miles and just needed to replace drivers side. Cant fault them
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Thanks JabawokJayUK, I'll certainly have a look at some of those - I don't suppose you have any pics with the lights on, so I can get an idea of colour/brightness etc?

I've seen a few LED H7 fitments (on eBay), but to be honest I wouldn't really know what was a good/bad set. I presume more LED's = better!
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Sorry to up in on your thread. But i noticed you have hid's on your car.

A quick question, i've just bought a 159 Ti, getting it this saturday. I've got a set of H1 HIDs from my old car. What is the dipped bulb on the 159?? Please say these will work.....

Many thanks,
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Originally Posted by Alfa Rookie View Post
Sorry to up in on your thread. But i noticed you have hid's on your car.

A quick question, i've just bought a 159 Ti, getting it this saturday. I've got a set of H1 HIDs from my old car. What is the dipped bulb on the 159?? Please say these will work.....

Many thanks,
Presuming it's the same as the Brera, they're H7.
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Ah flip, not gonna work then, ah well.

Thanks for the info
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Originally Posted by Maximus84 View Post
Thanks JabawokJayUK, I'll certainly have a look at some of those - I don't suppose you have any pics with the lights on, so I can get an idea of colour/brightness etc?

I've seen a few LED H7 fitments (on eBay), but to be honest I wouldn't really know what was a good/bad set. I presume more LED's = better!
Here you go:
https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/phot...eat=directlink
https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/phot...eat=directlink
https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/phot...eat=directlink
https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/phot...eat=directlink
https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/phot...eat=directlink
https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/phot...eat=directlink
https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/phot...eat=directlink

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I did some research while at work today and have some potential candidates for the interior and rear. I would be interested if anyone has experience of them, especially the rears!

Interior:

3 sets of:
2x WHITE-Xenon Look 12V T10 501 5-SMD-5050-3chip LED Wedge bulb
http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/T10-501-W5...item4840632564
@ 7.95 each

1 set of:
2x Festoon 42mm 264 Ultra Bright 8-SMD LED C10W 10x42 SV8,5 interior or licence plate car bulbs
http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/2x-Festoon...item48413672fe
@ 8.95

Rear Exact QTY & Type TBC:
2x P21/5W BAY15d 1157 Bright 18SMD LEDs 10x36 STOP/TAIL
http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/18-SMD-LED...item484053a7a1
@ 11.95

2x PY21W BAU15s 581 Bright 18SMD LEDs Indicator/Repeater bulbs
http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/18-SMD-LED...item484133eda6
@ 11.95
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Here you go:
Nice! They look much brighter than the standard bulbs, almost like the dipped beam!

Think I'll have to get a set on order! Cheers!
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Also, wrt the brake and indicator links, it does state that they will throw up CANBUS errors, and extra resistors are required.
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Also, wrt the brake and indicator links, it does state that they will throw up CANBUS errors, and extra resistors are required.
Hmmm, I hadn't noticed that..... that makes them a no then. I want direct replacements that have resistors built in.
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Hmmm, I hadn't noticed that..... that makes them a no then. I want direct replacements that have resistors built in.
These look like they will do the job for your indicators but they are not cheap

No Load Resistor Required Error Free S25 1156 1157 7507 LED Bulbs

 
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These look like they will do the job for your indicators but they are not cheap

No Load Resistor Required Error Free S25 1156 1157 7507 LED Bulbs

Cracking find, but as you say, a bit pricey! Also not sure on the "only use for signal lights as they get extremely hot" warning!! makes me a little nervous!

Another consideration is that SMD based LEDs are pretty ugly when not lit or hidden, so using them on the front would not be that appealing in the daylight given the housing for them is clear. I am beginning to wonder if changing the indicators and/or rear lights is going to be a viable option.

Meanwhile, I'm off to order the interior lights now as for the cost, its worth a punt!
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80 euros!! each or for a pair? Might as well stick to bulbs!! I could buy 40 new ones for this kind of money!!
 
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I replaced the 4x interior downlighter (cheapy) single LED bulbs last with 8x smd canbus jobbies and must state that these are the ones to go for! I cant see or access Ebay to provide the link. But there arnt many on there that fit that bill.

Of note was the fact that I ordered a load from Hong K and a couple (same bulbs/more expensive!) from uk (1st class mail) guess which package turned up first... well done China!

So far I will state that all bulbs changed must be canbus/ error free items. You will get issues otherwise!
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thanks for the info JabawokJayUK - there seems to be a good 'throw' of light from the LED side lights as well.
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I replaced the 4x interior downlighter (cheapy) single LED bulbs last with 8x smd canbus jobbies and must state that these are the ones to go for! I cant see or access Ebay to provide the link. But there arnt many on there that fit that bill.

Of note was the fact that I ordered a load from Hong K and a couple (same bulbs/more expensive!) from uk (1st class mail) guess which package turned up first... well done China!

So far I will state that all bulbs changed must be canbus/ error free items. You will get issues otherwise!
Excellent Mark! How do you find the brightness? I have the 5 x 3SMD LEDs on order for the job rather than the 8's as didn't want it flood lit!
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The ones I had were far too dim, the ones fitted last night have 4 smds (8 in total) at the end facing downwards and is about as good as its going to get, the lens have a built in diffuser so its a good effect and a good brightness imo.
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The ones I had were far too dim, the ones fitted last night have 4 smds (8 in total) at the end facing downwards and is about as good as its going to get, the lens have a built in diffuser so its a good effect and a good brightness imo.
These are what I have ordered in the end, will let you know if they are bright enough, else you will have to send me a link to the ones you ordered Mark:

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I will attempt to get a link done soon, they do look different to those you purchased (they a have four small smds on the end as opposed to a single larger one! No access via work I'm afraid!!!

I will have look for some indicators/brakes as well although Hong K will offer the cheapest options.
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